I bumped up a post that explains what orthognathic surgery is for. "Orthognathic Means... Straight Jaws"
This surgery will not cure TM joint problems. It can and does, many times add to the problems.
With TMJD, there is almost always muscular problems.
The muscles can pull enough to cause a deviation.
How many millimeters do they tell you that one side is longer than the other? Do they tell you that you have some type of deformity or serious abnormality?
The correct Splint Therapy in most cases will work for TMJD. After Splint Therapy, sometimes, orthodontics are needed, if you have teeth that need to be moved.
Orthognathic Surgery is to restructure bone. Severe deformities can add to the pain of TMJD, but it does this by causing muscle spasms.
I am by no means an expert. I had this surgery 16 years ago with a promise it would cure my TMJD.
I had a very slight overbite, and one mandible was 1 mm longer than the other. (about the width of a paper match.)
I had these surgeries because I did not know any better. There was no information available and they did not tell you of the complications that can occur.
I could have lived with the 1mm difference. My life has been total misery since they broke my face all to pieces 2 times and did not get it put back together right.
My TMJD pain & symtoms have been almost cured with a Splint in the last 9 months.
Please don't just take my advise. Please find out all you can about why they would want to "Break your facial bones to cure TMJD symtoms."
Thanks for the input. It just seems like there are so many conflicting views that it's hard to know what's right. I know it varies with the individual. But I'm trying to get all my ducks in a row before I agree to braces and the surgery. (Of course, the decision may be made for me if my insurance won't cover it). As tmj wasn't even an issue when I was first told I needed the surgery, I'm inclined to agree with my doctors and go ahead with it. I'm assuming I've developed tmj symptoms based on the change in my bite since my wisdom teeth were removed. I was supposed to have the braces done right after, but couldn't afford it. So now, perhaps if it's related to a maxillofacial issue, it will be covered by insurance.
If the stars are aligned against you, realign the stars.
My surgeon hasn't told me exactly how many millimetres longer any part of my jaw is. What he has said(and from what i've seen on the frontal x-ray)is that one condyle is slightly longer than the other. Now he didn't say that it was a deformity or serious abnormality, he just said that it was longer on one side but not grossly so.
I must admit that even with all this information you have provided iam still tempted to consider the surgery. The reason i consider it is because it just seems to make sense to me that if the jaw has grown over, this would cause the occlusion to move, the muscles to spasm and therefore the discs to dislodge themselves. so by putting the jaw back into a more harmonious position would the muscles not follow?? and hence the symptoms subside? I dunno really it just seems logical to me. I'm not saying it would cure me, and certainly i would also probably need some form of splint therapy, but it seems like it may help.
My surgeon is quite honest with me about it and says it may not cure my symptoms and after the operation the muscles may try and pull my jaw back into the old position. He has also discussed the risks with me; nerve damage, bone shattering etc.. Plus my surgeon has nothing to gain from this as he losses nor gains any money whether i have it done or not because it's done on the National Health Service.
The other reason for having the surgery of course is that i wouldn't have to pay a penny
because i get it free on the NHS here in England, whereas splint therapy will cost around $5000 as it's only available privately.
But i will definatley consider what you have told me.
[This message has been edited by mdjuUK (edited 09-23-2003).]